After you all stampeded to our examination of Twitter's first letters yesterday, we decided to take a look at the single-digit numbers, too. You might expect the two groups to be similar, but they're not. It's shocking how different they really are. Whereas the alphabet users were standard heavy tweeters, the numerics are a strange and low-usage hodgepodge with a substantial Chinese contingent.
The standout of the group is obviously @6, Adrian Lamo, and the man who purportedly turned in WikiLeaks star source Bradley Manning to Federal investigators. Despite Lamo's modest stats, he's played a key role in one of the last year's biggest stories, which is a good reminder that the correlation between Twitter and real world fame is rough at best.
Among @6's supporting cast, only @0 and @1 have much of a following. @0 is the home of 0 Zine, which is, according to the account's bio, "the most excellent home-made zine in the world." I can't verify this fact, sadly, because the zine's website no longer appears to be functioning. @1 provides no bio or name, but his or her 81 tweets have garnered 3,182 followers.
It's possible we shouldn't be too impressed by that count, though. Accounts @5, @7, @8, and @9 are all barely used, yet each has more than 1,400 followers. We could even call this the Numeric Follower Bonus. Apparently, some subset of Twitter users thinks it's funny or interesting to follow the numbers, even if they don't tweet. To each his own.
One last note of interest about the numerics: four of the accounts are in Chinese versus zero in the alphabet sample. Two of those accounts, @8 and @9, are associated with a domain for sale: http://www.2i.com.cn/. Not sure what it means, but highlighting it all the same.
Check out these differences between the alphas and the numerics (I excluded @3, which is a suspended account):
Alpha Average # of Tweets: 3,266
Numeric Average # of Tweets: 435
Numeric Average # of Tweets (excluding @6): 26
Alpha Average # of Following: 302
Numeric Average # of Following: 564
Alpha Average # of Followers: 2,896
Numeric Average # of Followers: 4,430
The numeric group is way less active, but follows and are followed by more people. The activity metric for the numerics would be a lot worse, too, were it not for @6's 3,709 Tweets, which represent 95% of the group's messages. The other outlier in our entire alphanumerica sample is @0, which has more than 26,000 followers, despite a rather meager stream of 67 tweets. It is the most special number, though, so perhaps we should expect that people would want to show their support for the dangerous idea.
See the original post that inspired this story: